Jun 082012

I know we’ll have an open thread on Sunday, but this is the last regular weekday post before another amazing rollercoaster of a Mad Men season comes to a close. I hope to see many of you at our New York Finale Party, or perhaps via Skype at our West Coast Finale Party, and I hope many of you will remember to stick around between Mad Men Seasons.

Don’t forget that Basket of Kisses is also the home of an increasing array of media coverage: The Walking Dead, Hell on Wheels, Downton Abbey, and Alphas are just a few of our shows (look under Other TV in the top menu for the full list of regular coverage). We are at work year-round creating rich content for you!

In the meantime, this is a Mad Men thread. What do you think will happen on Sunday? Will Pete join the circus? Will Harry run off with Mother Lakshmi? Will Joan cut her fur coat into little tiny bits?

Go wild!


  158 Responses to “Mad Men Finale: Wild Speculation Thread”

  1. Michael leaves to visit San Francisco.
    He is going to visit a relative named Allen.
    Michael comes up with the phrase ‘flower power’ that Allen is now credited with.

    • Allen Ginsberg? Brill.

      “I’m with you in Rockland

      in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-journey on the highway across America in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night”

    • Actually, Michael Ginsberg doesn’t have to go to San Francisco to meet up with Allen Ginsberg.

      In March 1967 in NYC, on Easter no less, a version of the “human be-in” that took place earlier that year in San Francisco took place in Central Park. Allen Ginsberg was there, along with MLK and about 10,000 anti-war protesters.

      I’d love to see Don (in a turtleneck and Levi jeans) in Central Park on that day with Megan (who has flowers in her hair), but this time Don will be whistling Donovan’s tune, “Mellow Yellow.”

      Michael Ginsberg will hear “Mellow Yellow” and will be inspired to create an ad campaign for margarine.

  2. Bobby finally gets to do something interesting.

  3. I’m not sure if the show will directly address the aftermath of Lane’s suicide for his wife and son, but I think there might be some issue regarding the life insurance. Does his resignation constitute a lapse of coverage? Will Don and the firm choose to give Lane’s family the financial help that Lane couldn’t get when he was alive? I think that this issue will come up, though I’m not sure if it’s the type of thing that gets settled next week or that we find out about retroactively midway through season six.

    It stretches credulity to think that SCDP has a real shot at Dow Chemical — but I think that Baxter throws a bone Don’s way. Don and the agency will get tasked with “selling” a particular Dow product to the public: napalm. I’m still expecting SCDP to become involved in the ’68 election somehow, and this might be the beginning of that.

    • Weren’t we told that the insurance policy pays the firm, not the person, in the case of suicide?

    • SC did work for Nixon in 60 and Cooper still has ties to the Nixon people. Early this season, he consoled Roger by saying something like “you know Nixon is laying in the weeds”. The Nixon campaign will be a story line next season.

    • There has to be something with the 1968 campaign, maybe it will involve Henry Francis and Don Draper working together.

      • Cue Betty’s head exploding if that happens.

        • I’d like to think she’s mature enough to understand it’s just business. At this point, I think Betty is far more upset with Megan than Don.

  4. Thanks Deborah for this post and all you do for we Basketcases year round.

    Scenario 1- (Good version) Dow decides to give SCDP a chance to prove itself, as Vick did, with a part of its business. Saran Wrap and a new product for 1967…Ziploc bags. However, they want a female on the account; so the partners do everything in their power to get Margaret Olson to return. Will she or won’t she? Tune in for Season 6.

    Scenario 2- (Bad version) Kenny, or more likely Harry, is discussing Lane’s death with someone (maybe Pegs); and reveals that Don and Roger were not present when Lane’s corpse was discovered because they were meeting with Dow. Somehow, Teddyboy finds out. He and Peggy made a pitch to Dow and are awarded Saran and Ziploc because of our Peggy. Don finds out ……and the you know what hits the you know what… Tune in for Season 6.

  5. Don is so disheartened by Lane’s suicide and the dirty business with Joan, that he decides to leave advertising. Don becomes Megan’s agent. They move to California where thanks to Don’s promotion of her, Megan is cast as That Girl or as Laura Petrie or the like and becomes a big star.

  6. One great thing about Mad Men is that it need not get wild (and rarely does) to be compelling. The narrative goal is to make each season complete – to make them stand alone – which implies that some loose ends will be tied up.

    Some external and internal clues indicate what we won’t see.

    JJ has said she apeared in four episodes this year. Including her one line/scene of Mystery Date she has already appeared in four, so we won’t see Betty – and probably not Henry.

    Sadly, we will not see Lane in current corporeal form. We’ve seen Anna-as-spirit (or dream) once already – they won’t trot Lane’s ghost out.

    Don will “cover” the forged $7,500 check. Even without that, the amount is inconsequential enough to consider the embezzling thread to be knotted.

    Also sadly, I don’t think we will see Peggy. That was a clean break and to get her back in the mix so soon seems a contrivance.

    The Dow meeting “table setting” is also too recent to bring up again.

    What then?

    Greg shakes up Joan with futher divorce proceedings?

    SCDP settles Lane’s piece of the firm with Rebecca?

    Megan lands an off-Broadway part – and heads out of town. As a result, Don resumes his philandering ways?

    Pete, despite Trudy’s objections, takes an apartment in town (which seems at this point, pointless, if not completely trivial)?

    Police investigate Lane’s death – we find that Harry blabbed – the partners “confess” about (admit to) the hanging?

    Ken jumps ship – and brings most of his accounts with him? All the partners need to come up with more cash – including Joan and Pete (and Pete has little in the bank as yet). Don plays big brother to Joan and helps her out – Pete is left hanging.

    • Don should philander with Joan, and set up a Don/Joan/Roger triangle for season 6. Except that might be a bit soapy…

  7. Stan will wear black socks instead of sweat socks in the office.

    • *whoa– no-way! blowing my mind….

    • Michael Ginsberg buys an actual complete suit (from Sal, selling fine menswear.)

      • I don’t see Sal in sales. He may be essentially blacklisted by the major agencies, but there’s no reason he couldn’t do in-house advertising, much like Don and the furrier before he worked for Sterling-Cooper. I do like the idea of Sal making an appearance.

    • kd bart – Great speculation. Let’s get some more Stan into the story. He’s been pretty scarce for quite a while.

  8. Bert Cooper will close the office for the day so that everyone can go see the new movie “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

    • <3

    • In the last episode, when Megan and her friend were discussing what movie to see, I was hoping they would mention How to Succeed” as sort of an inside joke. The movie did come out in early March 1967. There was no indication if it was either February or March 1967 in the episode.

    • Not certain, but hope they mention “How to Succeed”.

      I am almost certain that “A Guide for the Married Man” which was also released in the spring of 1967 will be referenced, if the date line works. MW has mentioned that it was an influence on him.

    • You mean see “his” movie.

  9. The much beloved “The Dick Van Dyke Show” starring Mary Tyler Moore as “Laura Petrie” ran from 1961 to 1966, ending production in the spring of 1966.

    Marlo Thomas not only was the star of “That Girl” from 1966-1971, she was an executive producer and one of the series creators.

    Of course there were many other feature films and TV series with roles in which “Megan” could be cast. In 1967 “Pilot Season” in Hollywood continued into early April. If “Megan” were discovered in NYC even later, she might be added to the cast of a pilot, or become a replacement for an actress in the pilot who could not continue with the show once picked up to series.

  10. Zombie Lane Pryce.

  11. I always thought Embeth Davidtz was underused in the mousey part of Rebecca Pryce. I predict that the hot femme fatale will break out with the merry widow going after Don.

  12. Peggy’s friend Joyce and Mother Lakshmi convince Peggy and Harry to join not the krishnas, but the Manson clan….yikes!

  13. Greg will finally die… Or become a POW…Megan will cheat on Don…or leave him

  14. As DD is watching Ali refuse to submit to the draft, “Megan” will turn him over to her comrades, and transform him into a Manchurian Candidate. Rich, humorless guy. What’s not to like? Think, Romney.

    Pete and his insurance pal, decide to swap wives, or murder them for each other. Happiness ensues.
    Everything happens in 3’s, so Bert dies. He is run over by his cattle in Montana.
    Ginzo runs into Lane’s wallet guy. Is inspired to write a novel about the underworld. History changes.

    But SERIOUSLY: This all means nothing if Peaches doesn’t come back. So long, MAD MEN.

  15. Another good Hitchcock tie-in

  16. Would this kind of thread permit an extremely vague spoiler? There’s a one-sentence “summary” of the final episode in my TV guide, although I won’t share if it’ll upset anyone.

  17. Poor Lane. Killed himself before he ever got a chance to see Tom Seaver pitch for his beloved Mets. Seaver made his Met debut in April 1967.

  18. God, Peggy better not be gone for good. If she’s in fewer episodes so EM can work on other projects, fine. But unless they’re planning on promoting Dawn, or hiring another female copywriter who’s just as interesting, it’s just not going to be as good without her.

    Okay, wild speculations:

    Megan is discovered by a foreign film producer and gets a small part in Fellini Satyricon, and has to learn to speak Italian phonetically and move to Italy for shooting.

    Beth shows up on Pete and Trudy’s doorstep and announces she’s four months pregnant and that it can’t be Howard’s.

    The firm lands the napalm account, and Michael’s idea for a tag line — “When you think about it, it’ll blow your mind” — is rejected, and Michael quits in disgust.

    Don gets diagnosed with hepatitis, and the doctor tells him that if buys one more bottle of anything brown, he won’t make it to the bottom of the bottle alive.

    • “Megan is discovered by a foreign film producer and gets a small part in Fellini Satyricon, and has to learn to speak Italian phonetically and move to Italy for shooting.” – hee hee – Betty can coach her.

  19. Joan’s divorce will become an issue for the partners.Roger will be named a co-respondent which will leave him open to a lawsuit by Greg.Greg’s attorney will also find out that Roger is the father of Joan’s child and who Joan slept with to get the Jaguar account.Pete Campell will be the source of this information about the Jaguar account.Don will force Pete Campbell out because of it.Campbell will be hired by Chaough and Peggy will return.Sally and Glen will become romantically involved. Megan will be offered an acting job in Hollywood and Harry Crane will help. Don will be very busy in New York at the same time. Ginsberg will be torn about remaining at the agency or joining the Israeli Army.

  20. Don and Megan will have a big argument and Meg will fall off the balcony.
    Megan will leave Don for show business, and Betty will come back and remodel the whole Draper apartment with Gothic chic. Don will hate it so much, he’ll push Betty off the balcony.
    Sally and Polly will come and live with Don and Megan. Glen will show up one day, and Polly will attack him, drag him to the balcony and drop him off.
    Pete will meet Beth at a hotel and when she declines his advances, he lunges for her, falling off the balcony.
    Roger and Jane take another LSD trip, but lose their way and fall off a balcony.
    Ken gets so engrossed in writing his latest story that he wanders off the balcony while writing on his notepad.
    Greg fights the viet cong at a Hanoi Hilton, but trips and falls off a balcony
    and finally:
    Trudy and Joan, now widows, move to Minneapolis and share an apartment building. Trudy works as a window dresser and Joan runs WTM-TV over Mr. Grant while Joan’s Mom takes care of Tammy and Kevin. 23 years later Tammy and Kevin marry, and ‘Uncle Don’ comes to the wedding, one of his last pleasures in this life!

    Well, you did say wild speculation! I do have a theory about what might happen, but I’m not saying anything because I’m basing it on the preview.

    • Therese – Love your use of the balcony. Hilarious! I laughed outloud starting at Roger and Jane.

  21. Hmmmmmmm…I think I see a theme here.

  22. On a slightly more serious note, it would be interesting if Beth showed up pregnant with Pete’s baby- otherwise did she really have a purpose in S5? Personally I don’t care if she ever comes back, or Megan’s friend Julie, or the new Bobby, I found all three really dull.

    But I’m sure there has to be some element that will keep up guessing until next season. I don’t know who or how many it will involve, but since Hamm is the lead, it’s got to affect him somehow.

    I hope no one else dies. Seeing Lane goe was hard enough. Part of me is wondering if elements from ‘Mystery Date’ will come back. I hope not.

  23. Don will revert to his midwestern roots and write the lyrics for a song praising marital fidelity. Don and Megan will change their hair styles slightly and become country-western singers
    use this link if embedding fails to work

  24. Don or Megan will have an affair. I bet on Megan. Dow meeting leads to business. Bert will have figured out what happened with Lane and will confront Don. The partners will pay off Lane’s family. Pete is approached by another firm and will end up with a full partnership at a renamed SCDC. We will see a glimpse of Ginsberg’s increased standing at SCDP. S5/13 will end in March 1967.

  25. Don will cross paths with the hobo we met in an earlier flashback

    Whatever happens in the finale, I hope we discover whether the elevator shaft is a MacGuffin or not (I still think someone’s going take a tumble).

    Also, maybe we’ll get the final clues to figure out what the Season 5 Poster means.

    • SmilerG – If you’re interested in someone else’s thoughts about this (mine, to be exact), check out post #57 on the C and F Recap earlier this week.

  26. Ever since “Tomorrowland” I’ve felt that something has been “off kilter” w/MM. My first reaction after watching “Tomorrowland” was, “this has to be a fake episode.” I was thinking along the lines of the S1 finale, “The Wheel.” “The Wheel” had two endings, the first where Don returns home to Betty and the kids, the second and real ending where Don returns to an empty house. I wondered if “Tomorrowland” was a full fake episode version of the first fake ending of “The Wheel.” A kind of “what would happen if Don threw away all the progress he’d made since ‘Summer Man’ and returned to his former patterns.” And that the season premiere of S5 could be the real S4 finale, showing what Don really did, moving forward based on the progress he’s made since “Summer Man.”

    I wrote a post about it on my own mini blog and uploaded it right before “A Little Kiss” aired.

    Was “Tomorrowland” a “fake ending”/S1 finale double ending/”Vanilla Sky”?


    Obviously “A Little Kiss” turned out to be the real premiere of S5. But in the premiere and in the following episodes there have so many anvil heavy references to the Alice in Wonderland books (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There”) which are basically dream sequences, then actual dream sequences (Betty’s and Don’s), then references to dream sequences, and even a possible reference to the film “Black Swan” (a delusionary experience). This is not even counting the “Vanilla Sky” visual allusions. I posted about it in BoK after “Signal 30” aired.


    Also “Signal 30” began the multiple references to Science Fiction in the season. And ever since “Signal 30” there have been a multitude of references to altered states and alternate realities. In “Far Away Places” Roger and Jane have their LSD trip, enough said. There is also a reference to the “Tibetan Book of the Dead” which deals with the dream like state between lives. In “Codfish Ball” the heavy aquatic theme of the season starts off (a thanks to White T Jim B and his post on the “Codfish Ball”). In both Freudian and Jungian psychology water deals with the subconscious or unconscious, the realm of dreams. In “Lady Lazarus” the episode ends with the Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows,” which is based on the “Tibetan Book of the Dead.” And “Dark Shadows” is the name of the Sci Fi series (for which Julia auditioned) which included parallel universes.

    “Christmas Waltz” had strong references to the most famous Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Specifically, Lane’s money problems mimicked those of George Bailey and the kindness Don and Harry showed to those in need resembled that shown in the film. In “It’s a Wonderful Life” George is shown a parallel universe where he wasn’t born and where things were bleak.

    Also, in “Christmas Waltz” Paul has joined the Hare Krishnas. One of the ideas in Hindu Vaishnavism (from which the HKs derive their religion) is that the world is just a dream of the god Vishnu. And back to the “Alice in Wonderland” theme, a main account of SCDP is Chevalier Blanc, which translated (White Knight) is Lewis Carroll’s nickname for himself. So there’s a strong theme of dreams, altered states, and alternate realities in S5.

    Everything could go back to the “Tibetan Book of the Dead,” which is a guide to the intermediate state between death and rebirth. In “Summer Man” the “death” of the unintegrated (Don/Dick), unbalanced Don begins post the catharsis of “The Suitcase.” Don’s going fully underwater in the swimming pool could be seen as a type of drowning. The idea of immersion in water as a type of “rebirth” is common in religion (Don’s “baptism” in “Mountain King”). Also, there’s “death by drowning” symbolizing rebirth in “The Waste Land.” And then there’s the “Great Gatsby” perspective. At the end of GG, Gatsby is shot and falls into his pool. Don going under the water of the pool could symbolize the death of “Gatsby Don” and the beginning of a new, better Don.

    In the episodes which follow “Summer Man” Don makes great strides towards finding balance and health in his life (drinking less, swimming, dating a mature woman, treating Peggy better, writing a journal, and so on). By “Blowing Smoke” the death phase of “old Don” could have reached his end. But before the new, reborn Don can emerge, he has to go through “Bardo” or the intermediate state between death and life. And that is what S5 could be.

    And then there’s Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges. Basketwriter Deborah Newell Tornello wrote an amazing post about the use of yellow roses in “Far Away Places” and how they related to Judaism (a very simplistic summary on my part). The yellow rose theme struck a chord with me and then I remembered hearing about Borges’ short story, “A Yellow Rose.” I didn’t think much of it until I Googled the story and saw it was from a collection called “Dreamtigers.” And on the wall of Sally’s room as she awakes from dreaming in “A Little Kiss” are two tigers. The actual short story “Dreamtigers” has the line,

    “In my childhood I was a fervent worshiper of the tiger: not the jaguar, the spotted “tiger” of the Amazonian tangles and the isles of vegetation that float down the Paraná, but that striped, Asiatic, royal tiger…”

    Ok, a jaguar reference, perhaps as in Jaguar, the car which dominates S5. And then there’s the Jaguar theme in Borges “The God’s Script,” where a prisoner finds the writing of the gods in the patterns on a jaguar’s coat. There are other aspects of Borges’ writing in S5 (science fiction, a fascination w/Judaism), but that’s another story better left to people more familiar w/his works than I.

    The story which may have real significance to S5 is “Garden of the Forking Paths.” The best summary of the story I have read can be found here.


    A basic theme is that in every fictional work there are different routes a character can take which will lead to different outcomes. Perhaps S5 is one road on a forking path, the road where Don does not change and repeats patterns. And later MW will show the other fork, where Don does change and grow. There may be an allusion to this in Ken’s statement from “A Little Kiss,”

    “We go public, open an office in Buenos Aires and Elvis plays at Tammy’s sweet 16.

    Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, Borges’ homeland. But moreover, Ken is talking about a future that cannot exist if Elvis dies but could if he lives. The topic of Borges and variant futures could go on forever so I’ll stop here.

    But then there is the question, why on earth would MW make a “fake” season. There could be two reasons.

    1. Artistic expression. Telling the narrative in a non linear, semi surrealist fashion, in some ways mimicking the narratives in Eastern religions which gained popularity in the 60’s.

    2. Basically pulling a “Sopranos” season 6. “The Sopranos” S6 was a huge 2 part season after a long hiatus (just like the long hiatus between MM S4 and S5). This way MW can give the fans some extra episodes after such a long break. It would also explain why the S5 poster has two halves, one inside the showcase window and one outside. The surrealist inside of the window could be the first part of S5 (E1 – E13) and the second part could be outside the window (E14 onward, basically reality). This could also explain why JH’s quote to “Total Film” at the beginning of S5.

    “There’s a lot of his (Don’s) past still to be mined, and a lot of that is revealed and explored this season.”

    Um, unless the finale is pure flashbacks that’s not going to happen this season. But if there’s a second half to S5 (yet unannounced as in MM secrecy fashion), then JH’s statement can be true.

    Anyways, I just wanted to bring this up before the finale.

    • Forgot to add, if E1 – E13 are “Vanilla Sky,” so to speak, then E13 should end w/Pete taking a nose dive off of the top of the building. Why Pete? Because he’s become Don without the Dick Whitman, a creature which cannot sanely exist.

      And as Pete hits the pavement we should cut to Don in bed, back in his sad pad of S4. My original idea was that Faye would be in bed w/him, a riff on JH’s comments from the Paley Center interview. But after reading the jokes of fellow Basketcases, I’m going w/Don going to the shower and finding Faye there, a straight up reference/”homage” to “Dallas,” the originator of the fake season. Very tongue in cheek, especially since the two series are worlds apart.

      • Ack! Didn’t realize someone already posted a Dallas “dream season” scenario before I did!

        • No worries, common line of thought. And w/your post at #30, I agree Lane will still be alive and Peggy will still be at SCDP. And for me a great benefit will be that Don/Megan was just a nightmare. Hey, if you need to get to “The Garden of the Forking Paths” via Southfork, I’m all for it if Dead Pam = Don/Megan proposal/marriage.

    • Celina – Wow! A tour de force of speculation! If only we COULD go back and erase that whole Tomorrowland bit – it would be lovely, but it’s just too Dallas. I find it hard to believe that MW would do that if only for TV history reasons – too gimmicky. You do a great job of defending it as a possiblity, though.

      • SDAgemate,

        Thanks! I actually was thinking differently from “Dallas,” I should have been clearer. With “Dallas” they just wiped out a whole season as if it didn’t ever exist. I was thinking along the lines of “Tomorrowland” through S5 E13 being a surrealist dream version of what will happen in S5 E14 onward.

        For example, S5 thus far has contained oblique references to Midge. The opening shot of Megan’s backside is the same as the shot of Midge in the MM pilot.



        Megan’s black underwear resembles Midge’s in the MM pilot. Don’s surprise party resemble Midge’s party in “Hobo Code” with the pot and the “Bohemian” guests. Don’s secretary (at that point) gives him a plant for his birthday, the only other plant we’ve seen is Midge’s in “Babylon.”

        In “Christmas Waltz,” Paul’s return to Harry resembles Midge’s return to Don in “Blowing Smoke,” both have hit rock bottom and need something. And Paul’s girlfriend’s history of drug addiction and prostitution resembles Midge’s predicament in “Blowing Smoke.”

        So perhaps in E14 onward we see that Don didn’t really do his “life only moves forward” routine by finding a brand new wife. But instead he learned from his mistakes (meaning Adam), went back to Midge and helped her out of her horror. And then Midge went on to join a spiritual movement.

  27. There are two approaches one can take to offer scenarios: To offer impractical or unrealistic expectations that border on science fiction, fantasy or zombie story lines or to predicate a possible scenario on the previous 12 episodes in season five in respect to how the various characters conducted themselves, what they said and what decisions they made, how they interacted with each other and what the previous 12 episodes attempted to portray.

    Let me first offer my opinion on the these 12 episodes and then I’ll get to my speculation of the last episode in 48 hours.

    Random violence in 1966 as opined by Miss Gunther in Signal 30, whether it be the news of the day, the pursuit of civil rights or the war in Vietnam, did not impact most Americans directly, but did over time disturb the moral certainty in which they had been raised, nurtured and accustomed. Violence could invade their neighborhood or their pursuit of happiness at any time, any place or in any circumstance. You could only do so much to erect barriers and to prevent it from harming you. America law enforcement could no longer guarantee your safety. Americans became uneasy about various violent or antisocial trends.

    Although Mad Men doesn’t show or promote the main characters taking advantage of the Second Amendment to arm themselves to the teeth against evildoers (except alluding to Pete’s rifle), the main theme of season 5, every man for himself, as stated by Matt Weiner, does come to the forefront in virtually every episode as individuals strive to ensure their safety and to promote their self-interest.

    I see season 5 as the chickens coming home to roost–the sins of the past four seasons finally have caught with the main characters, and they find themselves having to work through or resolve issues that have plagued them for a long time.

    Bert Cooper is close to 80. Would it be a surprise to anyone if he retired to Montana in the last episode?

    Above someone mentioned Greg dying in Vietnam. Don did talk about napalm in the last episode, didn’t he?

    I see Pete splitting from Trudy in the last episode and following up on what he told her in the last episode of getting an apartment in Manhattan. I really think there is a good chance Trudy will be written out of the series.

    Roger deserves some good news. Jane goes back on her promise never to marry again and confesses she has been dating the son of the wine merchant she met a few episodes back and that she isn’t interested in Roger’s money.

    If Betty shows up in the last episode I see her confronting Megan about Don’s past after she finds out from Sally she was with Glen. Don’t forget it was Glen’s presence in the Draper house which eventually led to the firing of Carla and Megan being enlisted by Don to take care of the kids in CA.

    I see Megan at the crossroads between pursuing an acting career and returning to advertising or she could be pregnant.

    For Don I see him landing a huge account in the last episode (besides Jaguar). Could Conrad Hilton return?

    Will anyone die in the last episode? I really that is a possibility or there could be an act of random violence or a serious accident to leave the end of season five in cliffhanger mode.

    • Megan already knows about Dick, so it wouldn’t be the big shock that it was to Betty. Sally is slowly getting the peices to the Don/Dick story, as I predicted. She hasn’t put them all together, but she will eventually. The alternative is that Betty puts them together for her, when Betty is especially angry. Sally will say it’s not true, and run to call Don. He won’t want to talk about it over the phone, but they do talk about it the next time they see each other. Don tries to put the best possible spin on it.

  28. I think that they are setting up the Don Vs. Peggy battle. The Election of ’68, SCDP will go with Humphrey, CGC and Henry going with Nixon.

    • As long as Cooper is alive SCD(P) will NOT endorse a democratic candidate. If they were offered boatloads of moola they would make campaign ads for J. Fred Muggs for President.

      If the nightmare that is “Megan”, were but only a dream. It would be too much to ask for. MW’s Svengali-like obsession with that character has a destructive Lolita elwment to it.
      I know, I know, that’s two different stories. Ugh.
      The balcony await. I root for the yawning chasm below. This is the beginning of End Times on MM.
      I’m certain this episode will be gruesome.

      • Tilden, did you read Matthew Weiner’s last interview where he said we should think about the Don/Megan marriage as Don does: which is for him, this is the only woman he is going to be with for the rest of his life, he’s not looking for this marriage to end. Paraphrasing, of course. Thought you’d like that tidbit!

        • Megan: the tree that falls in the forest, but only Don hears. In the 60-odd years of TV, has any other character ruined a great show? BJ & Col. Potter kept the M*A*S*H machine running smooth. Rebecca was a step down from Diane, but Cheers didn’t fall off the cliff.
          I’ve said it before: in make believe land, you don’t have to change things like in real life, if what you start with is sublime.

      • It might also be interesting if SCD(P) works for Nixon and Don and Henry have to work together.

        • That would be interesting. Do we have any sense of whether Henry knows Don’s true history.

          • I imagine Henry’s political experience would give him lots of knowledge of how to mitigate troubling circumstances. Henry may actually be in a postion to help Don make Don’s past not be a potential legal problem. Betty may or may not approve of helping Don out of the mess. In the end, Betty would probably approve, after all, Betty did not rat Don out to the government agents who questioned her back at a time when the wounds Don inflicted were new.

          • Henry doesn’t know, and I would love to see the two of them working together. There would have to be a scene of Roger giving Don a head’s up, and asking if he’s okay with it.

    • Potential for campaign showdown- Yes. But you have your affiliations reversed. SCDC will work for Nixon and Chough and Co may work for Humphrey (or Kennedy, or Gene McCarthy). Bert alluded to Nixon earlier this season.

  29. Don Draper will open his shower door to see Patrick Duffy taking a shower, and realize it was all a dream. Don’s still with Faye, Betty is still thin, Lane is still alive, Peggy still works for SCDP… I dunno. The main one is Lane is still alive.

  30. Pete’s been getting a lot of accolades lately, and with Pryce’s suicide, Pete will demand to be made a full partner, including the name change to SterlingCooperDraperCampbell. As a result, Pete will get his NY apartment, and be relieved of his “epic poem” to get to Cos Cob.

    Love the suggestion that Bert give everyone the day off to see “How to Succeed….”!

  31. S-5 hasn’t been a dream at all.

    It’s actually been a year in the life of all the characters, exactly as it would’ve played out for them, in a parallel universe.

    • If you’re taking the view that MW is heavily drawing from Borges in S5, that could be the case. Ken’s comment about Tammy’s sweet 16 in Argentina w/Elvis always struck me as odd. But if it’s a reference to Borges (his homeland and an alternate future where Elvis is alive), then it may be more in place.

  32. My guess is that the season wll end in a wimper … there have been too many bangs lately.

    • I think you’re on to something here. I’d love a crushing blow to be delive the finale will be a disappointment.

    • I think you’re probably right. We haven’t seen enough of the wider reaction to Peggy’s leaving, Joan’s new partnership, and Lane’s suicide. And we need a “cliffhanger” of sorts, though perhaps won’t be as dramatic as Tomorrowland.

  33. It’s definitely Peggy’s apartment; the door is the same.

    • Indeed, you’re right. I was depending on my visual memory too much. And I wouldn’t worry about spoiling anything, I am yet to see anyone guess something correctly about season premieres and finales.

    • In the scene in Commissions and Fees, when Lane returns home after his talk with Don, the entry-way into the apartment is entirely different than the one to Peggy’s place. His door and the one in the background, across the hall, are quite a bit darker in color.

      Compare this scene with the scene in At the Codfish Ball, when Mrs Olson arrives for the ill-fated dinner with Peggy and Abe, and it’s evident that it’s not the same apartment entrance. Peggy’s door and the color of her walls are much lighter.

    • Is it?

  34. A writer on another blog compared S5 to the Sgt. Pepper LP, and there were interesting coincidences between episodes of MM and the lyrics of many of the songs on the album. Now, the commentary ended before Fees and Commissions, but darned if Lane didn’t try to ‘blow his mind out in a car’. Now, if this analogy turns out to be true, then if you recall, Sgt. Pepper ends with a great deep crash of a chord that goes on and on until it fades out. Me thinks that MM may just end this season with some sort of dramatic chord that wil resonate all through the hiatus. Could be another death, could be a major change for someone, but we’ll just have to wait.

    • Therese — ” Me thinks that MM may just end this season with some sort of dramatic chord that wil resonate all through the hiatus. Could be another death, could be a major change for someone, but we’ll just have to wait.”

      I don’t think it will be another death or divorce. With all the drinking, we’ve seen AA. With Betty’s eating, we’ve seen her gain weight and go to WW.

      I’m guessing that because “there are consequences” we are going to see someone finally diagnosed with lung cancer from all that smoking…..and I’m betting that it will be Don. We’ll be left hanging with his diagnosis and treatment over the hiatus. He’ll survive the cancer scare, and will channel his efforts into the business which will finally grow big enough for SCD(P?) to finally get that second floor.

      • I think it should be Roger, because he’s older. Also, he’d get to make some great jokes about it.

        • To clarify, there’s nothing funny about cancer, but Roger does have a very dark sense of humor, and I could see him making light of a dire situation.

        • Roger has already had two heart attacks and his share of medical drama…I’m still betting on Don and lung cancer, but I’m always wrong, so you could be on to something. Even if was Don that wouldn’t stop Roger from trying to cheer Don up with a few spirited lines.

  35. Megan will run into a poet friend from Montreal who’s in NYC to record his first album.

  36. Peggy will approach Kenny to come to Chaough ,as a way to get the Dow account – Kenny will do that, and the Dow account will go with him. Remember, he wants to be on the account. And he is the son-in-law.

  37. Looks like I’m the lone voice speculating that Don’s past as Dick will blow up in the final episode. Someone mentioned in another thread that this whole scenario is “played out” at this point. We, as viewers, may think so. But Don/Dick doesn’t. This (story line) is still a huge factor in everything he does. And it’s a natural. It’s been hovering since S1E1 and needs to come to an ending and it’s ALSO a bridge to the next/new life for Don/DIck.

    Lane’s suicide is somehow going to unmask Don/Dick I tell ya! 🙂 The last episode ends with Don going off to jail to await trial or to serve time after he pleads guilty to get this behind him finally.

    Next season will alternate with Don/Dick scenes in prison with all the various things going on with the other players in the agency. Or does the agency fall apart without Don with all the exciting story lines that would afford? Stay tuned….:)

    • Not as long as Burt Cooper and Pete are around. Cooper will protect him because he’s a good guy that way. Pete will protect him for the good of the agency. Pete has a wife, a family, an image, and his career to protect.

    • I nominate this possiblity for the Season 7 finale, rather than Season 5.

    • Maybe Don will be sharing a cell with Gregory House, M.D. or another television character who has faked his death and is caught living a second life. Are there enough of those characters to fill a prison?

  38. Lane Pryce’s murderer will be revealed in the season ending thrilling finale.

  39. Here are my best guesses:

    1. Megan will find out she’s pregnant, but we won’t know whether she’s going to choose to continue or end the pregnancy.

    2. [redacted]

    3. Don will deliver a financial settlement of some sort to Rebecca Pryce on behalf of SCDP.

    4. Pete will become a “name partner.”

    5. Stan and Harry will each have to put $1 in the douchebag jar.

    • Megan won’t be getting pregnant any time soon – I pretty sure she’s on
      birth control pills. Also in the scene when they’re driving back to the City
      from Pete’s party, Don is drunk and Megan is driving and when Don says,
      “pull over – let’s make a baby right now.” Megan clearly says, “That’s not
      possible.” From my perspective, that’s an odd response from a women
      right after that’s said to her. I wondered if what she actually meant was that she’s not able
      to have children.

      What is everyone else’s thoughts on this. The idea that Megan is pregnant
      has come up before.

      I cannot see this happening at all in terms of the development
      of her character, her independence, her young age and there’s much much more
      interesting story lines to keep developing or bring in.

      • Once again, there are already two babies on the show (Tammy and Kevin), and Gene is still pretty small. Child labor law logistics and costs of baby wrangling make it very unlikely that they would introduce another baby.

        • Gene is 3-1/2 now. If he’s going to be between 4 and 5 next season, he can be played by a slightly older actor who looks younger.

          But yeah, I’d be surprised if there was a Don-Megan baby any time soon. Megan has made it pretty clear it’s not a priority for her. “That’s not possible” probably means she’s on the Pill. The dosages were higher then.

          • I’d surprised here as well. I see it as unlikely and unfitting to the plotlines that Megan would become pregnant; I also see her as a person who would not hesitate to approach abortion as something that simply must be done, probably in the same way as Joan did twice years before.

  40. I agree with Brooklyn Jan that the Dick Whitman secret will come back to bite DD.

    Megan wll have an affair…maybe with some Broadway big shot who can help her career.

    Roger will drop acid again.

  41. I am certain others have posted it and I have missed their comments. However, the falling figure eventually winds up in an apparently comfortable place. So I take that to indicate while the fall maybe dangerous and/or troubling; the end result will not be disasterous. (Could that be the happy ending for DD that MW has often mentioned?)

  42. SCDP lands the Dow, Firestone, and Chevrolet accounts. The partners reward the staff by chartering a jet to fly the entire company to Hawaii for a well-deserved vacation. The jet makes a forced landing on a mysterious island in the Pacific. The survivors enjoy 6 more seasons in prime time in the series Island Men.

  43. I predict that Mad Men will end as a series with Draper/Whitman jumping out of his office window when his past catches up to him and he can’t run anymore. It will look just as the opening credits look, with the animated figure that looks like Draper/Whitman jumping out of his office window. This series finale will come as a “surprise” to viewers of Mad Men and they will be “astonished” and “awestruck” at an ending that was “hidden in plain sight.” This is how the series as a whole will end. This is not necessarily the 2012 season finale,unless it happens to be the series finale?

    • I want to be clear that I don’t think the ending (Don Jumping from his window) will be animated. I meant that the animation in the opening credits is what the scene will look like at the end of the series. This ending is supposed to symbolize “the fall of the white man.”

    • I highly doubt Don/Dick is jumping out of any windows – Matt Weiner has said more than once that he sees Don as a happy man at the end of the series. We’ve already seen him happier overall this season than in the previous 4. Remember, the “falling man” of the intro ends up sitting comfortably, arm casually extended – not SPLAT! on a sidewalk.

  44. Don gives Rebecca the insurance money out of guilt. Lane mailed another letter stating that he will give his shares in the company to Joan only if she gets her name on the door. If they don’t do that he give them to an outsider or to charity. This forces the others to make the company become Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Harris and ( as Lane knew it would) denies Pete his name on the door. He hated Pete.

    • That may be his intent but it depends on the terms of their partnership agreement. Usually a partnership dissolves with the death of a partner and re-forms, if the remaining partners wish to, either duplicating the previous partnership (minus one) or adding one of more persons. We don’t know if Lane’s share is part of his estate or reverts to the remaining partners. And I don’t know that Lane gets to make a choice posthumously imagine if he’d donated his shares to the Hare Krishnas!

  45. I think Don’s disruption of the Lane crime scene will lead to his identity/desertion being discovered.

    Terrific observation by Insatiable Shadow that the resignation letter could have insurance implications.

    I don’t know about the finale, but in general I think things will go very badly for Peggy at the new place. I think she has Joan-Rivers-To-Fox-ed it by taking the big payday from her mentor’s nemesis.

    • As we go along, I can see Don initiating the “outing” of Dick Whitman, maybe putting out general inquiries through his attorney as a “what would happen if…?” inquiry. Given the time passed, no Draper relatives harmed, his contributions to this field, connections (Henry Francis might even be a help here – Dick Whitman getting a presidential pardon from Dick Nixon? lol) is it possible a deal could be cut? Community service, generous contribution to a veterans’ program – interesting to see how it eventually plays out, if at all. Wouldn’t there be howls if the series ended without a resolution to the Dick-Whitman-becomes-Don-Draper issue – and maybe, as in real life sometimes, he gets away with it forever.

  46. T minus 24 hours

  47. In the Harris divorce, Joan and Greg are required to list all of her assets. The most valuable asset either of them owns is — Joan’s 5% of SCDP! Greg will get 2 1/2 % of SCDB or Joan will have to borrow money to pay him off. Not what I want to happen, but I don’t see any way around it. The women of MM never get a break. 🙁

    • Yeah, it would seem that way legally. As Roger has been “stung” in divorce settlements, so wmight poor Joanie…

      ALTHOUGH, unless Greg was going to question paternity the fact they have a child might change things?

    • Does Greg even know yet about her partnership?

      • I’m guessing she hasn’t talked to him at all lately. And Greg would have no reason to guess such an unlikely thing. But aren’t there legal disclosures of assets in a divorce? She might have disclosed her negligible assets before the partnership happened. But wouldn’t she need to disclose her assets again before the divorce is final? (And when would that date be?) I don’t know any law and I’ve never been divorced but the idea of splitting up the assets is pretty well known. Anyone who knows the details, please chime in.

        Of course people hide assets in divorces all the time, but that’s breaking the law, isn’t it?

  48. Ken gets the account but moves and takes it with him to Peggy’s new firm.
    Roger and Don get smashed and decide to disban the agency. Pete is BS and reports Don to the Feds. Don spends the entire season 6 writing a memoir in the slammer. We see flashbacks of stuff we never ot to see. For instance, Megan in a wedding dress, Roger finds Joan keeps the baby. Season 7 is the finale and we see it is present day when he is released from prision. Sally picks him up played by a blonde Jennifer Garner. She takes him to Betty’s condo. She lives alone in Larchmont on the water. Henry died suddenly of a heart attack many years before so she is lonely and still holds Don in her heart. They are old together and comfortable with each other. She shows an Anna quality to him and they are just friends in their golden years.

  49. Kenny Cosgrove will find out his compilation of short stories will be published

  50. Has anyone else read the “25 Things You Didn’t Know About “Mad Men” That Will Blow Your Mind” article from the basket of news? It was fun, but there is a pic of Trudy & Pete on there I do not recall ever seeing in an episode (maybe from the banquet from The Color Blue?). Anyone know where this may be from?

    • Jan, I like that idea because as other people have pointed out Don’s secret past has become less secret and seems like less of a big deal. I so want to know what he told Megan.

    • I want to know that also..

    • You are exactly right, it is from the banquet at the end of The Color Blue. Although it was barely visible in the episode, Janie Bryant has cited that dress of Trudy’s as one of her all-time favorites on the series.

  51. Ken and Stan jump ship from SCDP, either going to CGC, or forming a new agency with Peggy when she tires of Chaough’s behavior – making Stan’s sarcastic “We made a human pyramid” from the premiere prove truer than anyone imagined.

    Ginsberg either follows them to become their enthusiastic first employee, or overlooks Don’s treatment of him and becomes his new Peggy.

    Lane leaves his partnership shares to Joan, giving her a bigger partnership than Pete.

    • Too soon for Peggy to jump ship from Cheough – she just got there. Maybe at series end she will start her own agency but she doesn’t have the wherewithal to do that.

  52. The door looks to be Lane’s.

  53. To project what the last episode of season 5 holds forth I think it would be wise to examine the main themes of the last episode in each of the first 4 seasons:

    Season 1 The Wheel

    Various marriages not happy: Harry and Jennifer; Carlton and Francine; Pete and Trudy and Don and Betty

    Peggy gives birth.

    Overall the episode portends doom or at least possible unease in season 2 which we saw.

    Season 2 Meditations in an Emergency

    Betty is pregnant

    PPL buys SC

    Peggy tells Pete she had his baby and she wants to be a career woman

    Pete tells Don about Duck’s ambition to be president of new SC

    Theme: Decisions which shape story lines in season 3

    Season 3 Shut the Door, Take a Seat

    Don told Betty is divorcing him.

    Partners start brand new firm with Pete now a partner

    Theme: A clean break from the past with season 4 showing the resulting story lines and the introduction of several new characters such as Faye and Megan.

    Season 4 Tomorrowland

    Don proposes to Megan and his kids bond with Megan

    Peggy secure Topaz but is overlooked

    Betty is not happy with Don’s proposal to Megan

    Joan is pregnant and Greg is in the army

    The partners talk to Ken about Dow Chemical

    Theme: Follow-up of story lines pertaining to the above especially the Draper’s first year of marriage.

    Based on the previous four seasons I think that something significant will occur in tonight’s episode which will point the way to season 6. That could include SCDP landing Dow Chemical, the Draper marriage heading in a certain direction, Pete getting an apartment in Manhattan, and Don getting back in the groove in season six. I also see Joan feeling good about her situation despite her pending divorce and Roger sprinting ahead as well in his commitment to the firm. And you could also see Peggy and CGC competing head on with Don and SCDP. And of course the real world in 1967 or 1968 will impinge on the sheltered world of SCDP. And because of history, we know what those events will entail.

  54. The Phantom will not be a person, or thing, (Oh, God, MW, please let it be “Megan”) it will be a frame of mind. An altered reality. The agency will go up in smoke, because Don will walk away. Because of Joanie, “Megan”, not being there, Pete. Notice I didn’t mention beloved Pegs, he’s already shocked himself with how much her leaving, didn’t happen, or matter, in his mind. Everyone will get a new opportunity.

    Will the spooky “Megan” theme play yet, again? For the final time?

  55. My wish is that Greg Harris’s hospital is hit by friendly fire (perhaps by an F-4 Phantom), and Joan eats the sugarcube from Roger’s extended hand.

    Should “Dick Whitman” be exposed as a result of disturbing the scene of Lane’s suicide, 1967 is a perfect cultural moment for “Don Draper” — likely with the assistance of Abe and Peggy (probably Roger, and maybe Ken, Stan, Ginsberg, and maybe even Teddy) — to change the conversation about his service and “desertion” during Korea.

    My read on S5 is “Everyman for him/herself”: Destination: Future. As we have seen, not all the characters are equipped to make it.

  56. It’s Lane’s doorway that Don is standing in.

  57. Date: June 29 to July 5, 1967
    Queen Elizabeth II Royal Visit to Canada.
    Accompanied by Prince Philip
    Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, to celebrate Canada’s centennial. They also went to Montreal, Quebec to attend Expo ’67.

    A 1967 Rolls Royce Phantom V was the tour vehicle for Queen Elizabeth ll.

    Wild Guesses:
    1. Megan in an uncharacteric act of emotional caring, asks Lane’s widow if she would like to accompany her on a trip to Canada durting the royal visit.

  58. Don will find out he really DID have sex with and kill whatshername in the fever-dream episode. Megan came home, found the dead woman on the floor and Don passed out in the bed, and threw the corpse in a dumpster.
    Pete emulates Don by running away and assuming a new identity in Manhatten.
    Hey, you said wild.

  59. Is it not possible that Peggy and Abe traded up to a nicer apartment?

    That said, I’m putting my bet on the Pryces’ door.

  60. I will be shocked if the Mohawk crash of June 1967 doesn’t factor in somewhere.


    Myabe not in the finale for this season, but it has to figure in there somewhere, doesn’t it? Before we knew exactly how this season was going to track, time-wise, I thought the telegraphing of death might point to someone we know being on the crash. I thought about Pete, which would be a real irony, since his father died in the American crash that resulted in SC losing the Mohawk account in the first place. Pete brings it back in, only to die on one of their planes. I also thought about Henry being on the plane, since the flight was bound for Washington DC, and that would set up something interesting for Betty. But unless they jump ahead to June in the finale, it might not play out until next season. And since we’ve already had our “big death,” maybe that won’t be an aspect of the crash, but it will still be a very big deal for SCDP (or whatever they are called at that point). There have been several foreshadowings this season to a plane crash – two memorable ones are Roger and Pete talking in “Signal 30” and Pete says Pete says “it doesn’t matter that it’s not one of Mohawk’s – we should stop running ads for a week and just hope no one notices that Mohawk has 10 planes that are the same model.” Then, in “Christmas Waltz,” the plane that Joan trashes on the receptionist’s desk is the model of a Mohawk plane that has been in the lobby since Pete unveiled it after the account came back to SCDP.

    • Last week, it was winter, and MW has said he isn’t pushing up the timeline as much as he did in earlier seasons. That would be a big leap to make it to June for this episode. But it could happen…

  61. S6 opens in late 1967 and carries us through most of 1968, ending with the election. The assignations are addressed during the season. SCDC work on the Nixon campaign. Harry Crane is responsible for getting Nixon on Laugh-In. Even Nixon’s detractors were forced to admit he had a very well run campaign, in part due to SCDC. Megan becomes a soap opera actress in NY. Don and Peggy compete for accounts. At the end of the season, Peggy comes back.

  62. When is it determined when season 6 will begin? I always watch all episodes before the start of a new season and need to pace my viewing!

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